TN custodial death: Eyewitness head constable says she is ‘scared’

Revathy, head constable of Sathankulam police station, said she was worried for her family and herself after her name came out in the custodial deaths issue

Villagers staging a protest, demanding justice for the family of Jayaraj in Sathankulam on June 24. Photo: By special arrangement

Revathy, head constable of Sathankulam police station, who had witnessed the custodial torture of the father-son duo at the station in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district, told The Federal on Wednesday (July 1) that she needed protection for her family and herself.

“I told the magistrate about this issue thinking my name would not come out. But, it is out everywhere. I need protection now. I am scared. I don’t know how my family and I will be able to move around in this district,” Revathy told The Federal over a phone call.

When asked whether she was present at the station when Jayaraj and Benicks were tortured the whole night, she said she had conveyed everything to the magistrate about the whole ordeal and did not want to reveal it to the media.

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She also said that until July 1 morning, she had not received any calls or threats from officials in higher posts.

“But, we never know what will happen in the future. Since I am in the department, there should not be any problem for me. I thought about being true to my work and so I told the magistrate about whatever happened on that day (June 19),” Revathy said.

Related news: Arrestees have rights too: Know if they were exercised for Jayaraj, Bennicks

It was Revathy’s statement with Kovilpatti Magistrate M.S. Bharathidasan that prompted the magistrate to collect evidence on this issue from the station.

According to Magistrate Bharathidasan’s report, Revathi had told him that the duo was beaten up the entire night, and that their blood stains could be found on the lathis and on the table in the station.

The magistrate’s report led to the Madras High Court taking suo motu cognizance of the incident against the three officials involved — Additional Superintendent of Police D. Kumar, DSP C.Prathaban, and constable Maharajan.

The High Court also felt there were chances of tampering with the collected evidence if there was any delay in the inquiry, and ordered a CB-CID inquiry into the matter until the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took up the case.

Ten teams from the CB-CID headed by DSP Anil began their investigation on July 1 at Sathankulam in Tuticorin district to probe the custodial deaths of P Jayaraj and Emmanuel Benicks.

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